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How to Dress for the Art World

Digital strategist JiaJia Fei has a thing for bright colors and Tabi boots.

Style Diaries
How to Dress for the Art World
Photo: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

Welcome to Style Diaries, a series where we research the physical manifestations of our closet tours IRL. We're asking friends and tastemakers to show us what they're *actually* wearing during the week and to provide a little insight into their thoughts on personal style.

Digital strategist for the art world JiaJia Fei has three distinct personas when it comes to getting dressed. “I literally have three closets for these three personalities,” she says. One is an everyday athleisure-oriented collection, which she notes is the default when nothing occupies her calendar. “It's all black and white, homogenous looking gym clothes, unless it's summer then everything is neon.” The next persona is more work-oriented. This entails a number of suits and more professional garb. (Though we’d advise you to disregard whatever corporate imagery has popped into your head; Fei’s suits are made of materials like pink wool or blue corduroy). The third manifestation of the creative’s style persona is the most vibrant—”all statement, wacky dresses, prints,” she clarifies. Luckily, her roster of art world events provides the perfect platform for this form of expression. “I've sort of created these three different archetypes of my life, given what I need to dress for,” she explains. “Like, pick your fighter—which persona am I going to be today?”

When it comes to said art events, that creative expression is highly encouraged. “I'm often dressed in a way that acknowledges a creative appreciation for aesthetics and a community of people who are just very sensitive to their own aesthetic surroundings,” Fei contextualizes. So I'm often thinking about what I'm wearing in an art context.” She and other guests are often heavily photographed in these spaces, as well. So Fei has the added element that she and her fellow patrons are leaving a mark on the art world’s history. “I feel like when people look at a record of the art world in this era, it's going to be obviously the work, but then [also] the people who come to the openings and come to celebrate and support the artists,” she muses. “Fashion is as much a part of the story as is the actual artwork that you're celebrating.”

Look 1: Work Meetings

Photos: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

“I've been really into suits because there's so much intentionality in any type of two-piece garment. You just feel like the day has a purpose. So whenever I have client meetings, or even sometimes on a Zoom, I'll put on a suit just to feel like I am dressed for the day. Even though they have a reputation of being quite boring, there are so many fun suits out there. A colorful suit, a suit with texture, a suit that can be paired with something really unexpected. I wore this leopard dress underneath it, which is not very conventional, but I think it's such a fun way to feel powerful and resolute, to really know what you're going to be doing, but still continue to have fun with color and interesting combinations together. Then, the sunglasses are Adam Selman [x Le Specs]. I wear them all the time.

"I've never been someone who's been, I would say, good and experimental with hair or makeup. And so, that is the reason why I've really always had the same look. The front of my hair has always been exactly the same. I've had these bangs forever, and then I just let the rest of my hair grow out. And then for my makeup too, I've always wanted something very easy, classic. I've always had the same lipstick too, because one year, I bought a specific lipstick—Mac Ruby Woo—for a Halloween costume. I really loved how it looked, so I just continued to wear it every day.”

Valdi Blazer


The Last Lolita

Le Specs
$119 $60

Retro Matte Lipstick

Mac Cosmetics

Look 2: Winter Brights

Photos: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

“This winter, I have been trying to [wear less black] and be creative, because winter in New York can feel so depressing and dark. As long as I put on something bright, but still warm, it really uplifts my mood and makes me feel excited to go out and do things. I try to really change up the very dark season that we're in.”

Drawstring Fastening Cargo Trouser

Proenza Schouler White Label
$708 $496

Look 3: Reimagining Day-to-Night

Photos: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

“I wore this for a dinner, and I think in the same way that color really helps me get through winter, animal prints have also been a way of subconsciously making me feel warm. There's also something about a texture that just helps me get through the season. This was something that was really comfortable and that I could continue to wear from a workday into the evening for dinner.”

Mid Heel Ankle Boot

Dries Van Noten
$855 $428

Look 4: Birthday Dinner

Photos: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

“Another animal print dress! I wore this for my birthday. I just wanted something fun that was kind of classic, but still very statement. I went to that restaurant, Milos, the Greek restaurant—I'm also obsessed with their spiral staircase. There's something about the animal print and the scene too, that really inspired me there. Then, it's hard to find boots that really are interesting and fun for the winter. My Tabis are just so easy; they go with everything. They're pretty comfortable, for me at least. They're always my go-to when it gets cold out.”

Tabi Ankle Boots

Maison Margiela

Look 5:

Photos: Courtesy of JiaJia Fei

“This is my boyfriend's dog. Last time I was traveling in Korea, I saw this really hilarious Supreme dog vest that I needed to get. And then I noticed that we both had red puffers, so I wore my puffer specifically for this dog. I used to just always wear all black, but I feel like just having one statement outerwear piece, even if it's the sweatpants I wear to the gym, really uplifts my day and makes it more exciting.”

Cropped Ace Coat

$425 $170
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